BMW X6M and Porsche Cayenne Turbo S
500 HP+ SUVs…Perfect For The School Run.
By: Anthony Fongaro | September 2015
When you think of an SUV, you typically don’t think of a vehicle with more than 500 horsepower that can embarrass sports cars. But recently, a handful of manufacturers – namely BMW and Porsche – have put the “sport” back in the Sport Utility Vehicle.
BMW employed their M division to transform their X6 into the powerful X6M, while Porsche upgraded their Cayenne into the Cayenne Turbo S to combat the X6M and other super-SUVs. Both BMW and Porsche want the consumer to think that their vehicles are no-compromise sporty SUVs that combine sports-car power with SUV practically. Has it worked? Are these two vehicles sports cars on stilts or have they lost the go-anywhere practicality that an SUV should have?
At first glance, the 2013 BMW X6Mlooks like it might not meet the “utility” requirement. In fact, BMW doesn't actually label the X6M as an SUV at all, instead calling it a Sports Activity Coupe. It may not be as grocery friendly or passenger friendly as the Porsche, but the X6M places form above function. A sloping rear end means passengers in the second row over 5'11" will not have much headroom and the looking through the rear window is like looking through a pair of glasses. Thankfully, BMW equipped a rear-view camera which is clearly needed.
Porsche took a different approach with the2014 Cayenne Turbo S. Unlike the BMW, the Porsche looks like a conventional SUV that's clearly been hitting the gym. Since this is a conventional SUV in terms of design, passengers in the second row can afford to be a little taller without compromising headroom. Although the shapes may be a bit different, there are many similarities between the two.
Both of these vehicles come equipped with twin-turbo V8s along with all-wheel-drive. The Porsche's 4.8-liter V8 produces 550 horsepower while the BMW's smaller 4.4-liter engine actually produces a whopping five more horsepower for a grand total of 555 horsepower.
While the Porsche utilizes an 8-speed automatic transmission, the BMW has to make do with a 6-speed. Both also have a manual option of shifting gears but I recommend just putting the gearbox in Drive. Whichever one you drive, the V8 makes a deep growl that you can feel through your body as you are pinned back to the seats.
While driving, the BMW feels more mature than the Porsche. Steering feels heavier in the BMW and the Porsche feels more agile in the corners. Both have different driving modes that adjust the driving experience, so when you're stuck in traffic, put either one in their most comfortable setting and relax.
Of course, the biggest differences are found inside. Technology is abundant in the X6M with options such as a head-up display, which shows the driver's speed as well as navigation, side-view cameras, and 4-zone climate control. Meanwhile, the Cayenne Turbo S – the more comfortable of the two – came equipped with lane change assist and beautiful red leather. Both also had heated and cooled leather seats.
Even though both are well-appointed, there are a few drawbacks. As stated earlier, the X6M's coupe styling can be polarizing to some and rear visibility and space is compromised. The interior of the Cayenne Turbo S is beautiful but the center console can give you button overload. Other than those issues, these are fantastic machines.
Are the BMW X6M and Porsche Cayenne Turbo S basically sports cars on stilts? Yes, they are. Which brings us to the decision of which one is better? Dynamically, these both are similar. The choice boils down to style over prestige. If you're looking for a vehicle with a striking exterior that has more technology and 555 horsepower, go for the BMW X6M. If a more prestigious badge and a striking interior is a higher priority, the Porsche Cayenne Turbo S will be your best bet. Either way, you'll be getting the kids to soccer practice quickly and comfortably.
Thanks again to Midwest Motors. They are located at 540 Cortland Drive, Lake Zurich, IL 60047. Visit their website at http://www.midwestmotors.com/ and view both the 2013 BMW X6M for sale and the 2014 Porsche Cayenne Turbo S for sale in Chicago here.